When it rains, it pours - at least for spring releases that we love.
Shafer 2009 Merlot
This lovely wine is pure and focused. Delicious red fruit with a core of lush black fruit-red cherry, red plum, & spice. Hints of eucalyptus, earth and smoke. Aged 20 months in French oak.
2009 Holus-Bolus Syrah
The fruit for this dense Syrah comes from two vineyards in Santa Barbara County. This has red and spicy black fruit aromas and flavors. Cracked pepper on the finish. Only 500 cases made.
2010 Hirsch Bohan Dillon Pinot Noir
Lithe, bright & totally Hirsch. This has lovely cherry fruit and a dry minerally finish. This is Hirsch's first pinot release of the year. Always distinctive and a Castro Village Wine favorite.
2010 Roar SLH Pinot Noir
This wine is highly allocated & wont last long. The 2010 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is dark ruby with a bright nose of blackberries, black cherries and cinnamon. Full bodied with abundant ripe fruit and nice toasty notes. This pinot is unfined and unfiltered.
As spring release season continues, three more shop favorites have arrived.
2010 Migration Chardonnay
Aromas of pineapple and pear. Notes of nectarine, meyer lemon and orange zest. The wine's natural acidity adds focus and balance.2010 Lindstrom Pinot Noir
The fruit for this pinot was harvested from Dutton Ranch in the Russian River Valley. The palate is broad and full with warm fruit. Cherries and raspberries with a touch of cinnamon. Only 135 cases produced.2009 Shafer One Point Five Cabernet
Elegant and silky with soft tannins and abundant fruit. Aromas of rich polished black fruit, mocha and spice. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry, chocolate, plum and cedar. Approachable yet capable of aging gracefully.
With the warm weather returning later this week, we'd like to highlight a few new arrivals, perfect for a sunny day.
2010 Bokisch Albarino
A light straw color, this crisp and balanced white has aromas of apple, stone fruit and citrus blossoms. Tasting notes of Fuji apple, Bosc pear and grapefruit rind. This wine was produced from organically farmed and green certified vineyards. Only 411 cases made.
2011 Horse & Plow Pinot Gris
In addition to their tasty Grenache, this winery also produces some wonderful whites. Their 2011 Pinot Gris has a nose of pear and lychee. Medium bodied with fairly rich & vibrant fruit. Lemon zest and green apple notes. 275 cases made.
2010 Bink Pinot Gris
Lively, fresh & fruity. This wine was cold fermented in stainless steel for a crisp clean flavor. A perfect wine for a sunny day at the park!
It’s time for some TMI. Geoff is a third-generation Manhattan drinker. His grandmother learned how to make the cocktail in the 1920s, and her technique was exacting and rigorous. One key secret: always, always use the best vermouth.
Naturally, the Castro Village Wine Company carries top-quality vermouth. This week we added to our selection. Here’s what we have on offer:
• Dolin — Vermouth de Chambray (NEW). This light, subtle French vermouth has been made from the same recipe since 1821. You can use the red to “Mahnattanize” a lighter whiskey, without overpowering it. Or make a Negroni with sexy, classical proportions. The dry is clean and light, with an alpine nose. Don’t just show it the gin from across the room. Introduce them. We carry Dolin in full bottles, and in the convenient half bottle size.
• Cocchi — Vermouth di Torino (NEW). Deep, red, Italian and smooth. The di Torino has a voluptuous mouth feel, round and velvety. The flavors are rich and vibrant, with sweet rhubarb, a contrasting hint of chocolate, and a subtle savory undertone. This stuff is so fun to drink, you will want to play with it all night long. Make a pairing with chocolate. Put it in your Manhattan. Mix it 50/50 with the Willet bourbon. Or just sip it on the rocks with a twist. This unique red mixer has no equivalent dry product. Full and half bottles are available.
• Carpano — Antica Formula. This artisanal, hand crafted vermouth has a serious cult following. Dark red, with sophisticated flavoring, you’ll know straight away that Italian craftsmen took their time with this product. There is a cherry edge to the palate, with burnt jammy notes. The finish has legs—and just a hint of citrus. Goes great with the B&E bourbon. And if you dare to cook with it, the Carpano will add luscious, intriguing sweetness to your tomato sauce. Available in red only, in a one-liter format.
• Vaya — California Vermouth. Like the mythical earthquake that’s coming, this is the big one. The red gives you unrestrained cloves, orange and cinnamon. The white is more understated, and extra dry. Made from Columbard and Muscadet grapes, it has cottage garden floral notes on the palate and a slightly viscous feel. Both the red and white are great with ice and a twist. In cocktails, the bold flavors let you dial the proportions to suit your spirits. Sold in full bottles.
2010 Cazar Sonoma Coast Pinot
A deep ruby hue. Lively and juicy with aromas of pomegranates, rose petals, and wet stone. The mouthfeel is rich and zesty. Unfined and unfiltered. A Castro Village Wine favorite.
2010 Neyers Carneros Chardonnay
This is a full bodied, intense & vibrant chardonnay from 3 vineyards. Flavors of apple, pear and light oak. 92 points in the Wine Spectator.
2009 Grey Stack The Folly Syrah-Grenache
Only the second bottling of the Folly, the fruit comes from a vineyard in the Russian River. Lush and velvety with layers of raspberries, wild herbs, and mulled cherry. Grey Stack is crafting some very tasty small production wines. Give this a try!
Glenmorangie Astar Cask Strength 18 Years
Caol Isla 12 Years
- This is a significant step up from most of the scotch we carry. It's a top line whisky that would make a fantastic present--or to share with people you truly care about.
- Part of the magic comes from directly sourced American oak. The trees are grown on the shady side of a particular hill in Missouri. The oak grows slowly there, giving the barrels a special texture for the 18 year aging process.
- The nose has toffee and creme brule. The official notes also say mint and anise -- we found only a hint of the latter. In the mouth there is more creme brule with poached pears and vanilla custard. Then... the... long... lasting... finish.... Honey and almond. Delicious.
- This is cask strength and non-chill filtered. All the aromas and textures are there, along with some heat.
- Although this is a luxury product, you get the full treatment. It's worth every penny.
- This is an elegant, well balanced scotch. There is a less intense alcohol burn than many whiskies, and perfectly controlled smoke/peat flavor. It's highly enjoyable and a great pick for someone new to scotch.
- In the mouth it is light, pleasant and floral, then a little sweet with a hint of Lychee. There's a nice mouth feel with a hint of olive oil feel.
- Then comes some smoke, and a great finish.
- In terms of our line-up, it's between the Craggamore (lighter) and the Bunnahabben (more depth) in flavor profile.
There are new bottles on the shelves in the Spirits section. They round out our offering, joining some excellent old favourites on the shelves. We think they are all worth checking out.
Breaking & Entering Bourbon (NEW):
- First, 80 barrels were obtained from a series of rickhouses in Kentucky. Then, the barrels were brought to the Bay Area.
- The result: a locally produced bourbon with a 5-7 year age range.
- The whiskey has a bright, young flavor profile, with great color (a hint of red), and notes of maple, cinnamon, cloves and cherry cola. For aficionados there is just a hint of banana.
- The cherry cola notes make this perfect for a Manhattan, but it's also great neat and on the rocks.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon (Favorite):
- This was one of the first hand-crafted, small batch bourbons to gain popularity. It's still one of the best. Even with the variations that come with small batch production, it delivers fantastic flavor at a very accessible price.
- The palate is firm and generous, with baking spice and a hint of marzipan. The nose has oak, and a little cigar-box cedar. Afterwards there is a serious finish, with some oak and nicely understated floral notes.
- Recent press reports indicate that Channing Tatum enjoys drinking Woodford Reserve. Castro Village Wine Company endorses anything that makes Mr. Tatum happy.
2008 Talisman Sonoma County Cuvee
Seven barrels went into this blend, from both 2007 & 2008 vintages. The result is a study in dark fruits and deep flavors. Full, rich and vibrant, with black cherry, plum and bramble flavors, Talisman has crafted a wine that stood out to us in a recent trade tasting of many well known and highly sought out pinots! Only the second multi-vineyard blend Talisman has made, we highly recommend this lovely wine. 161 cases.
2009 Joseph Swan Cuvee de Trois
Pioneers for Russian River Pinot Noir, Joseph Swan Vineyards was founded over 30 years ago. The wonderful 2009 Cuvee de Trois is medium ruby in color and has aromas and flavors of perfectly ripe red fruit, particularly red raspberries and cherries along with a bit of wood spice. Fine tannis give way to balanced acidity. A lush, classic Russian River Pinot!
2009 T-Vine Grenache
Coming from old vines in Calistoga's Frediani Vineyards, the bright raspberry and blackberry flavors are jammy, mature, and juicy. A Calistoga summer in a glass. Eleven months in French oak barrels add even more concentration and subtle toasty
vanilla nuances. Delicious!
2010 Evening Land Arroyo Grande Chardonnay
Sourced from the great Talley estate, this wonderful chardonnay shows a rich yellow color, with aromas and flavors of lemon zest, and green apple. Entirely barrel fermented and aged in neutral French Oak.
2010 Wrath Ex Anima Chardonnay
This bright, lively chardonnay comes from Wrath's estate old-vine vineyards. A touch of neutral oak gives this structure and body.Bright stone fruit, citrus, and a subtle mineral finish.
August West 2009 Pinot Noir
Bottled in San Francisco, this lovely wine is made by Ed Kurtzman, one of our favorite winemakers. August West produces small lots of Pinot Noir and this is a beautiful dense wine that is showing well now, but can also reward a year or two of aging. Only 330 cases were made.
2009 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir
A very limited amount of this wine is now available here at Castro Village Wine. All estate fruit from the Santa Rita Hills appellation, this was aged 16 monthsin French Oak. The 2009 Southing has a wonderful nose of fresh leather, rose water, black cherry and violets. Fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by thevineyard's cool climate acidity.
2007 Keenan Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet composed primarily from Keenan's estate fruit high atop Spring Mountain. This 92 point Parker wine is a dense ruby/purple with plenty ofblack currant, white chocolate, and black raspberry. Beautiful concentration and a supple texture. This will drink well for years!
2009 Failla Russian River Chardonnay
Failla's lovely chardonnay displays a classic Chablis-like profile of minerally acidity. Diverse aromatics of almonds, wet stones,
and honeysuckle give way to a textured round mouthfeel and crisp finish.
2009 Grey Stack Bennett Valley Pinot Noir
A tiny 175 case production from one of our favorites-Grey Stack Cellars. This is their first cuvee, which is a blend made from three unique vineyards in Bennett Valley. Structured and spicy-reflecting it's cool climate location, we are excited to have this wine on our shelf!
2007 Gridley Cabernet Franc
Aromatic and silky, we love this wine! Notes of boysenberry, candied orange, with subtle floral layers of lavender and
violets. Flavors of raspberries, blackberries and earthy cinnamon with a long finish.
2008 Karl Lawrence Napa Cabernet
Coming from four acclaimed vineyards, this cabernet is balanced and complex with black currant fruit and dark chocolate
aromas. This has long been a favorite at Castro Village Wine!